Monday, February 14, 2011

Board & Batten Tips and Tricks

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Before taking Mr. A's room from this:

to this:

I did A LOT of research.  I surfed tons of blogs, and found some AWESOMELY (is that a word?) helpful tips out there. 

I'm going to compile a few of the most helpful things I found for DIY Board & Batten.

Tip #1:  Paint EVERYTHING before you start putting up vertical slats, or your horizontal board.  EVERY blog I read recommended this, and it is sound advice.  Paint the bottom half of your wall a shade of white you like, and paint the top half too.

Tip #2: When painting a room, you are going to wind up using painter's tape to tape off the ceiling.  Put up the tape a small section at a time.  Paint that section of the wall, and within 10-15 minutes remove the tape.  I am so surprised how many people don't know this.  If you wait until the paint dries to remove your tape, you will pull of the new paint. (true story, has happened to me!)

Tip #3: When painting any room, it will probably take a few days to get it done.  You don't have to rinse your brushes and rollers every night!  Get out some Saran Wrap (plastic wrap) and tightly wrap all your brushes and rollers.  It will keep your rollers and brushes wet and moist for up to 4 days.  I read this tip online years ago, and have done this with every paint project in our house.  It might be THE BEST TIP I can give you!!

Tip #4: Paint all of your boards before you put them on the wall.  This means your vertical slats, and your horizontal boards.  This will save LOADS of painting time later!

Tip #5:  When painting all those vertical strips, put them all together, and paint them all at once!  Like this:

 Just use a roller, and you can paint a bunch all at once!  I had 31 lattice strips to paint, and this saved A LOT of time!

Tip #6:  For the vertical slats, I used "lattice strips".  They are super cheap, and super easy to cut!  I read about these over at Thrifty Decor Chick.  I would highly recommend using these as your vertical slats.

Tip #7:  Decide how far apart you want your vertical slats.  Cut a piece of wood that length and use that as your "measuring guide".  This way, you don't have to measure every time you put up a slat!

Tip #8:   For my horizontal boards, I used a 1x4 (it's technically a 3/4" x 4").  I was concerned about the weight of the boards on the wall, but so far they have been fine!  I thought a 1x4 was the right "look" that I wanted.  My advice for horizontal boards is to wander up and down the lumber aisles at your hardware store, and find the ones that "look" right.  There are really no rules here.

Tip #9: I used liquid nails for the horizontal boards, and then used a nail gun to secure the board to the stud.  A good stud finder is helpful!

Tip #10:  After you have everything painted, and glued/nailed to the wall, it's time to caulk!!  This step doesn't really take that long.  I caulked on both sides of every vertical slat, and along the top of the horizontal boards.  When caulking the horizontal boards, you will want to use painters tape to create a sharp edge.

Place your tape a little ABOVE where your board is:

 Caulk, and smooth with your finger.  IMMEDIATELY remove the painters tape.

You now have nice, clean lines!

Helpful Board & Batten Posts:

Delight in Decor (Amber was SUPER helpful to my emails and questions!)
     Boys Room


  1. Great tips! I really want to try this somewhere and you make it look easy :) Can't wait to see the finished product!

  2. Thank you so much for the great compilation of tips! Now I can use this page as my reference point!

  3. Thanks for these tips. I'm hoping to do this someday and need all the tips and tutorials I can get! I'm definitely starring this page for future reference. Thanks again!

  4. Man I wish I had read these tips before we re-did our den. Our calking does not look nearly and neat and nice as yours because we didn't use tape. I didn't even think about it. Oh well, next room we do. :)

  5. great tutorial! Glad I was able to help! But, you deserve ALL the credit!

  6. Your room turned out so nice. Thanks so much for sharing all those helpful tips. They're going to come in handy one day when I do this myself.

  7. ok I saw thrifty Decor Chicks tutorial on this forever ago. I was going to do it for my boys room, but I went to Lowes to get the lattice board and all they had was actual pre-made lattice and single boards that looked really rough and splintery (sorry thats the only word I could come up with to describe it), nothing that looked like the boards you two used, where did you get your lattice boards?

  8. Niki,
    The lattice I used was found on the same aisle as the crown molding and baseboards. It was called lattice boards. It came in 8 or 10 foot lengths, and is very thin; maybe a 1/4 inch thick? They are about an inch wide. A few of the boards I got looked a little rough and splintery like you described, but as soon as I painted them, they looked great! I had to ask for help from the Lumber guys at Lowe's to find these lattice boards. They had a better idea than me about where to find them-so maybe ask for some help? If you want to email me, I would be happy to mail you a small sample of my actual lattice board. I have a bunch left :)

  9. great tips, i can't wait to do this in my next house. i would love it if you shared this at my party on wednesday.

  10. you totally deserve the feature, this was a great project. thanks for sharing it with me! i hope you grabbed a button. take care.

  11. Love the white against the bold color. Thanks for the tutorial - as soon as thy kids get out of my hair (after SB) I am going to attempt faux wainscotting int eh dining room! I would love to do this in the bathroom aswell. I'm a new follower, too. Come visit me at

  12. Great tips! I wish I would have known to remove the painters tape right away after caulking when we put up moulding in our dining room. Would have saved alot of frustration (and a bit of cursing!) :-P Good job!

  13. Great the wall! I never seem to have plastic wrap, so I put my brushes and rollers into plastic grocery works! I also put my roller pan into one.

  14. Thanks for all the great tips! I'm hoping to do board & batten in the nursery soon. Love the tip about removing sections of tape as you paint to keep it from ripping off the new paint. Didn't know that!


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